2006 UNC Game Analysis: The Definition of BeamerBall

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Look up “BeamerBall” in a dictionary and the definition says “See Virginia Tech @ UNC, September 9, 2006”. Led by textbook performances from the defense and special teams, the Hokies beat the Tar Heels for the third consecutive year to get a leg up in the ACC’s Coastal Division.

While doubts and concerns about the offense dominate the internet message boards and water cooler discussions, there are no such concerns about the 2006 edition of Bud Foster’s defense. If the UNC game is any indication, this unit will keep the Hokies in a lot of games and once again have the chance to be at or near the top of all of college football.

Let’s take a look at the game and break it down further……..

Offense Sputters

It’s been stated for quite some time that the 2006 version of the Virginia Tech offense was a work in progress and would be limited in some areas. With youth and inexperience at so many key positions and depth issues at others, it is not surprising that the offense has sputtered out of the gate. And while it’s nice to talk about the importance of day-to-day improvement, there are still football games to be played and won.

For sure, defenses are not going to let up and give these guys a free pass just because they are young and inexperienced. So, what are the coaches looking to do in the meantime? What is their plan? Some of that was answered in Chapel Hill on Saturday.

Get the Football to the Playmakers

At this point, the Hokies have six legitimate playmakers on offense – Branden Ore and five wide receivers. And one of those receivers (Eddie Royal) was hampered and played very little on offense against UNC.

Given that, the plan was to get the ball to those playmakers out in space, or down the field, depending on what the defense was showing from play to play. If the defense was showing conventional sets with emphasis on the receivers, then the plan was to run Ore between the tackles against a struggling UNC rush defense. If the defense was stacking the box against the run, then the plan was to get the ball down the field on intermediate and longer routes against single coverage – let those receivers make a play one on one against the defender. If the defense was showing pressure up the middle, then the plan was to get the ball